Wednesday, December 23, 2009

8 Russian circus tigers, lioness die during travel

Eight circus tigers and a lioness died during a 20-hour journey in an enclosed and heated truck across Siberia, and Russian police are investigating whether they might have been suffocated by exhaust fumes or sickened with food poisoning.

The animals were dead when they arrived early Tuesday in the city of Yakutsk, where they had been due to perform in holiday shows, police spokesman Nikolai Sizykh said.

A third possible cause of death may have been overheating in the truck, the Mechta circus administrator Yevgeny Kudashkin said. Another circus employee said the truck should have been opened every two hours for ventilation, but was not.

A Doberman dog traveling in the same truck survived, Kudashkin said. More dogs and a bear traveling in a second truck arrived healthy.

Circuses, popular in Russia since the 19th century, thrived under Soviet rule with state circus schools training generations of acrobats, clowns and animal trainers. There are still permanent circuses in dozens of Russian


No comments:

Post a Comment